Friday, January 04, 2008

Great walls of fire!

Journalists and commentators seem to think that moves by China to restrict online video sharing are outrageous (that’s interesting); its probably escaped their notice that local education authorities in the UK have been doing that for some time. There's censorship and then there's surveillance. Technology is, of course, OK if it’s about monitoring pupil progress and reporting to parents. The government's aim (here) is to give parents continuous online updates on their child's lessons, performance and behaviour. Oh thanks, you hear them chorus, just what we always wanted! Anyway let’s hear it for Bebo: a recent Which? Report comparing features, ease of use and so on puts Bebo top of the social networking sites. And lastly here’s Lilia Efimova with the most sensible commentary on blogging that I’ve read in a long while. She says: Blogging is about microcontent: publishing small pieces of thought and commentary, anchored with permalinks and carried away by feeds. However, the real value is not at the post level: ecosystems between blog posts are more interesting and more important. Think of the fuzzy feeling of knowing someone from reading a weblog over time, implicit understanding of a new issue that emerges while following a conversation between bloggers or sense of belonging to a network of others, in all cases posts and links are only a tip of the iceberg. Counting and measuring those visible traces is tempting, but knowledge, reputation, relations are likely to escape rankings. So don't take this post too seriously!

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